Krakow’s weather falls under the definition of a temperate climate, enjoying warm summers and snowy winters. Typical summer daytime temperatures in Krakow are around 25ºC, although sustained hotter temperatures around the 30ºC mark are often experienced in July and August. Average temperatures in Krakow’s winter hover between -2ºC and 5ºC, although it can be considerably colder (-15ºC) for spells as well as surprisingly mild. Snow can start in November, and it’s not unusual for there to be snowfall as late as the end of March.
One characteristic of Krakow’s weather is its relative unpredictability – five-day forecasts should be taken advisedly; it’s often the case that a blazing hot July day will be interrupted by dramatic thunderstorms and torrential rain (one warning signal is when the waitresses in the Main Square’s outdoor cafes and bars start picking up the cushions from unoccupied chairs). Nevertheless, these downpours are often brief and can provide a much welcome respite from the heat, removing dust from the air and refreshing the atmosphere.
Curiously, the sub-zero winter temperatures can seem less cold than you might expect, due to the dryness in the air; a considerable contrast to the humidity experienced in summer months. The transition from summer to winter can be impressively rapid – hot sun in late October, leaves turning brown and abandoning the trees mere days later and then snow on All Saints day (Nov 1st). Similarly with spring: by mid-March everyone is eager for the winter to be over, with only a few timid daffodils signalling the approaching change, but within a fortnight the winter coats will be packed away and – more importantly – that great barometer of Krakow’s seasons the outdoor cafes will be setting up in the Main Square.
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Winter average temperature hovers around zero degrees Celsius, whereas in summer it approaches 20 degrees. It’s not unusual for summer maxima to exceed 35 degrees, and there are usually a few days each winter that drop below -15
Winters tend to be relatively dry, with the bulk of annual rainfall occurring in summer and early autumn. Summer storms deliver a lot of rain in a short period, but rarely last long.
Walking The Main Square
"A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles" - Tim Cahill